Mayor Holaday was featured in the Sunday Globe’s “The Argument” weekly column supporting the Housing Choice Act. The Act proposes zoning changes that would increase housing production in Massachusetts and provide much needed housing for local residents.
The Newburyport real estate market has not been able to keep up with local demand. Vacancy rates for both rental and owner-occupied units are near zero percent. The shortage in housing contributes to Newburyport having the highest housing affordability gap in the Merrimack Valley region.
Newburyport is pushing to develop more housing, including through our adoption a 40R Smart Growth district in 2015 to produce mixed use, multi-family condos and rental apartment buildings as-of-right within walking distance to the commuter rail station and downtown. But we want to do more. Together with our updated Housing Production Plan, the Housing Choice Act would help spur needed by-right housing production for our community.
The widely supported Housing Choices Act will not mark the end of the important work on housing production and affordability here in Massachusetts, but it represents a significant step forward.